Sagehen Events, 2014...

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Scroll down to see all events. Read our calendar for abstracts of research & education going on at Sagehen.

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Wildlife Tracking Workshop

April 19-20, 2014

Sagehen California Naturalist is hosting a weekend of wildlife tracking with Meghan Walla-Murphy. Join in the fellowship of nature enthusiasts on a trek through the forests of Sagehen Creek in the Sierras near Truckee, California.

Download flyer

Gain skills in:

  • animal and landscape pattern recognition
  • using various tracking methods to analyze gait and other signs
  • thinking like a tracker to find out how animals are moving, how they’re surviving through the winter
  • using field guides
  • journaling

Enjoy an evening by the fire, sharing stories of the land. Celebrate Spring and renewal immersed in the beauty of nature. Come away with a deeper connection to wildlife and understanding of place.

About Meghan:

Meghan’s 16 years of animal tracking has added skill and breadth to her work in conservation biology and citizen science. A lifelong tracking practice has led Meghan to co-
author with Dr. James Halfpenny, “Track Plates for Mammals,” travel extensively in the US, Brasil and South Africa to learn from diverse trackers, as well as deepen her relationship to place and ecology. For more information visit her website

To Register: Download form. Space is limited to 12.

Workshop Fee: $140, covers dinner Sat night, breakfast Sun a.m. and lodging in heated cabins at the Field Station.

Time: Meet at Sagehen Creek Field Station at 9am Saturday, Apr 19 (directions on website). Closing is at 1:00 pm Sunday, April 20. Friday night lodging is available for a nominal extra fee.

Questions: email Coordinator Leslie Smith: sagehen-

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California Naturalist Program

June 6 - July 19, 2014 (6-week Adult course)

June 22 - 28, 2014 (1-week Youth Immersion course)

July 7 - 13, 2014 (1-week Adult Immersion course)

"California Naturalist is a new program developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension to foster a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education, and restoration."

Aspiring Naturalists enroll in a 40-hour course that combines classroom and field experience in science, problem-solving, communication training and community service.

The course is organized by a coordinator who is affiliated with a local nature-based center or natural resource focused agency. Class and field sessions are taught by experts in their fields.

Subjects covered include: ecology, geology, plant communities, interpretation, wildlife and others.

cal naturalist
Program Goals
  • To promote environmental literacy and stewardship of California's natural resources
  • To increase participation in resource conservation and citizen science projects throughout
    the state
  • To develop a core constituency of committed and educated citizens willing and able to
    participate in resource conservation, preservation, and restoration efforts
  • To provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to educate
    others and participate in many aspects of resource management, such as public education,
    resource planning and public decision-making
  • To provide the communication experience and critical thinking skills necessary to grow a
    citizen base that supports environmental protection and sustainable growth in California
  • To support partner organizations as they implement the program
Benefits to the Participant
  • A new appreciation for and knowledge of California’s unique ecology and natural history
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • New skills for volunteer and professional enrichment
  • Special knowledge of and access to local resources, ecology and natural areas
  • Access to new venues for creative and hobby activities such as bird watching, sketching,
    photography, etc.
  • Fellowship from other California Naturalist participants throughout the state
  • The excitement of being part of the venerable tradition of naturalists throughout history
    and an innovative new program for natural resource stewardship.
Course Format

This summer we will offer three course formats covering the same material:

  1. Six-Week Adult Course: includes an introductory weekend followed by weekly meetings at the Field Station
  2. One-Week Adult Immersion Course: a residential week at the Field Station
  3. For the first time, we will also offer a 1-Week Youth Immersion Course for high school students.
Registration & Fees

6-week Adult Course: $460*. This includes lodging and catering for opening weekend, course instruction, graduation certificate, lapel pin, registration with California Naturalist and website support. Syllabus and schedule | Registration form

1-week Adult Immersion Course: $995*. Includes station accommodations, meals, course instruction, graduation certificate, registration with California Naturalist and website support. Syllabus and schedule | Registration form.

1-week Youth Immersion Course: $995*. Includes station accommodations, meals, course instruction, graduation certificate, registration with California Naturalist and website support. Syllabus and schedule | Application form.

For questions about any of these course offerings, contact the station.

* Early registration price. After May 1, there is an additional $50 fee.

For a small additional fee, four Continuing Education Units/Credits (CEUs) are available through UC Davis Extension to teachers and undergraduate students who successfully complete the course.

Course Textbook and Other Required Materials

Students need to purchase a field journal and the course text: The California Naturalist Handbook. Please allow enough time to complete pre-course reading assignments.

Students should bring their textbook and a nature journal to every class and field trip session. We will discuss journaling in the first class, if you'd like to wait until you know more before acquiring a journal.

More info about the Sagehen course offering

More information about the California Naturalist program.

An article about the program.

Sagehen's California Naturalist project on iNaturalist.

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Jepson Herbarium Workshop: Sierra Nevada Wildflower Identification Made Fun!

June 12-15, 2014


Instructors: Karen Wiese and Carl Wishner.

A special field workshop at Sagehen Creek Field Station for beginning botanists!

Are you interested in learning to identify wildflowers using photographs, flower color, and simple plant features? In this field-oriented workshop, you will learn to use the book Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, and several other excellent field guides, to identify a broad range of wildflowers with confidence.

The workshop will include an interactive overview of basic botanical vocabulary, two and one-half days in the field visiting meadow, forest, and riparian plant communities, and two evening programs. To sharpen your plant identification skills, there will be opportunities to use dissecting scopes with live plant material and, should you desire, to learn how to key plants using the second edition of The Jepson Manual.

This workshop's content will be tailored to the beginning field botanist. We welcome more experienced participants as well!

Workshop is limited to 20 participants. Register by May 16. For more details and a link to registration information, go to or call the Jepson Herbarium at (510) 643-7008.


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Kidzone Family Camp

August 2-3, 2014

Hikes * Bugology * Fishology * Star Gazing * Watersheds * Camping * Friends * Arts * Yummy Food!

A Science Experience for the Whole Family!

Bring your family for the most unique science experience in the Sierra! - Two nights of family camping fun

  • Hands on science exploration
  • Mini stream model
  • Meet live snakes, insects, and mammals
  • Identify plants of the Sierra
  • Arts, crafts, music, great food
  • PhD Teaching Staff
  • Learn about active research at the UC Field Station
  • Stream profile chamber

Dates: August 2-3, 2014
Times: 3pm, Friday Night - Noon on Sunday
Ages: All family members welcome, teens can be camp interns
Cost: Includes overnight camping/cabin, science instruction and delicious meals for the entire family.

Due to the hands on nature of this camp, participation is limited. We recommend that you sign up early. Can't stay the whole weekend? Come for the day! We are offering a one day option for Saturday. You still get hands on science education programs, arts & crafts, evening music program and great food.

Proceeds benefit KidZone Museum, a non-profit children’s museum.

More information and registration.


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August 18-22, 2014

Sagehen Creek Field Station near Lake Tahoe, California
Why take this course?

River restoration has become big business in the US, with well over $17b spent on over 40 thousand projects since 1990. Despite strong public support and the magnitude of the investment, the field has not advanced as quickly as one might expect, because learning through post-project evaluation is rare, and insights from current research are often not effectively incorporated in planning and design. River restoration can be more effective when it is designed with an understanding of processes and the larger context, when it benefits from systematic learning from previous built projects, and when it is based on predictive connections between objectives and actions.

 This shortcourse emphasizes sustainable river restoration through:

  • understanding geomorphic and ecological processes in rivers
  • watershed-scale and longer-time scale context
  • incorporating insights from recent research in fluvial geomorphology and ecology
  • developing predictive connections between objectives and actions
  • analyses of effectiveness of built restoration projects
  • strategies to restore (where possible) physical and ecological processes in rivers
  • setting goals in the context of a continuum from urban-to-wilderness settings
  • developing restoration strategies and innovative management approaches based on understanding of underlying causes of channel or ecosystem change, rather than prescriptive approaches
  • knowing when to intervene and when the river can heal itself without meddling
Photos from 2006 Summer Shortcourse in Lake Tahoe, California:
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Registration & More information:

See this link for more information & contacts.

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Innovative Approaches to Wildlife/Highway Interactions

August 11-15, 2014

Highways, as well as low volume roads, are a major source of impacts affecting terrestrial wildlife and aquatic organisms on public and private lands.  

This course will teach state-of-the-art approaches for addressing wildlife and highway interactions, providing participants with skills and resources that can be applied in highway project planning as well as enabling them to recognize innovative opportunities and solutions for existing highways with legacy impacts.

Topics include an overview of terrestrial wildlife issues relative to existing highways and highway development planning, differences in impacts and solutions between low volume and high volume roads, structural and non-structural solutions to wildlife mortality and habitat connectivity, and an introduction to available resources on wildlife/highway crossings and interactions. 

This course is taught through partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station and Tahoe National Forest.

The course is held adjacent to State Route 89, a 25-mile stretch of two-lane paved highway from Truckee to Sierraville, CA. The Highway 89 Stewardship Team conducts mitigation efforts, experimental designs, and public education here as part of a grass-roots, interagency team of professionals and local members. The course will use the lessons learned by the Highway 89 Stewardship Team to illustrate concepts and principles of transportation ecology, including field visits to mitigation sites and annual updates of ongoing research.

Who should attend: This course is designed for wildlife biologists and/or engineers from every geographic region of the country who need information on wildlife/highway interactions, with an emphasis on terrestrial wildlife. The primary audience includes employees from state, federal or local agencies (transportation, land management or natural resource management), academics in landscape ecology, and non-governmental organizations. Maximum attendance is 25 participants.

Length: 4 days/30 hours


  • Inform participants on highway interactions with terrestrial wildlife.
  • Utilize lessons learned, best available science, and innovative tools to identify and reduce wildlife impacts from highways.
  • Discuss the highway planning process, including large scale connectivity analyses.
  • Develop interdisciplinary contacts and networking opportunities.

Tuition:          $1200
Includes catered food and lodging at Sagehen Creek Field Station, instruction, field trip transportation, and course materials.


Sandra Jacobson, Wildlife Biologist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, CA

Terry Brennan, P.E., Public Services Staff Officer, USDA Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest, Nevada City, CA

Additional Presenters TBD, vary annually.

Course Organizer: Jeff Brown, Director, Sagehen Creek Field Station

Registration and info:

Coming soon!